Attention female readers! You will hate this movie on account of it not being made for you. You can stop reading this review now, safe in the knowledge that you’ll never see this movie of your own accord.
Okay lads, now that the birds are out of the room: let’s talk Sweeney! It’s only a big screen adaptation of the classic cop show starring your man Ray Winstone and top London rapper Plan B! Now, this ain’t your old man’s cop show: shot in and around East London’s Canary Wharf, writer/director/dreamweaver Nick Love has substituted the grotty boozers of the ancient TV show for the gleaming steel and glass spires of modern London.
They play two members of the Flying Squad (Sweeney Todd/Flying Squad, geddit?), a division of the London Met responsible for nabbing robbers and such. As the movie opens, some bean-counting bureaucrat is threatening to close down the unit: he says he’s ‘unhappy’ with Winstone’s unorthodox methods of police work but he’s probably just annoyed that Raymundo’s sticking it to his missus (Hayley Atwell, woof woof, etc…). But when you’re dealing with The Sweeney, you’re dealing with men who get results, rules and regulations be damned.
So far, this film has garnered some pretty poor reviews from the major broadsheets, accusing Love of presenting an unrealistically macho view of police work. But we’re talking about the REAL London, not the fake one the media wants us to see. In the real world, men don’t observe health and safety standards or respect the chain of command. They do whatever it takes to nick the bad guys, even if it means staging a gun fight in Trafalgar Square that injures/kills dozens of tourists. It’s just a small price to pay for stopping diamond thieves who rob heavily-insured private banks.
Some members of the PC brigade would probably accuse The Sweeney of having ‘a mindlessly misogynistic script’ and ‘brutally outdated worldview’ but those squares don’t understand that nobody wants to see a movie that bothers with things like subtlety or restraint. From the very first minute, The Sweeney’s all like CRASH then SMACK and BIFF and then ’YOU’RE NICKED’!
I know what you’re saying: Hey, I’m a young guy. Why would I want to see some movie about old people based on some TV show my granddad watched? Well, duh: of course you don’t. This is not a movie for old people. Nick Love, who done made the Football Factory and The Firm has put this together just for you, casting popular rapper Plan B as a kid from the streets who’s turned himself into a tough-as-nails super cop. A lot of other actors would’ve played this character big in order to keep up with Winstone’s dinosaur-sized performance, but Ben Drew (that’s Plazzan Bizzle’s real name) portrays George Carter as a strong, silent, man of action — like some sort of Hackney Clint Eastwood.
You know you’re going to love this. It’s got birds, shooters, motors and all the action you could possibly want. If you’re a fan of Nick Love’s meticulously authentic vision of modern Britain, then this is the action movie you deserve.
Rating: Five Screaming Rays